Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney will be out for around six weeks with a knee injury, according to reports.
Rooney was not included in the travelling squad United announced on Wednesday morning for Thursday’s Europa League last-32 first-leg clash at FC Midtjylland, and boss Louis van Gaal later at his pre-match press conference confirmed a knee injury was the reason.
The manager would not put a timeframe on Rooney’s absence, but it is understood around six weeks is the period the striker is set to be on the sidelines for.
Van Gaal said Rooney had sustained the injury in Saturday’s 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at Sunderland.
The Dutchman said: “He was injured in the game against Sunderland and he has a knee problem. We have to wait and see how long that takes.”
Put to him that Rooney had played the full duration of the contest at the Stadium of Light, Van Gaal said: “That’s typical Wayne.
“He’s a guy who wants to go until the end and if he’s feeling a pain he doesn’t want to go off. He wants to win.
“That’s a fantastic attitude but sometimes it’s also bad for his body.
“But you cannot say (if he made the injury worse by staying on) because he didn’t know when (exactly) it happened. That’s the difficulty.”
The Games Wayne Rooney Could Miss
February 18, FC Midtjylland v Man Utd – Europa League, last 32, first leg
February 22, Shrewsbury v Man Utd – FA Cup, fifth round
February 25, Man Utd v FC Midtjylland – Europa League, last 32, second leg
February 28, Man Utd v Arsenal – Premier League
March 2, Man Utd v Watford – Premier League
March 6, West Brom v Man Utd – Premier League
March 10 – Europa League, last 16, first leg
March 12, Man Utd v Crystal Palace – Premier League (or FA Cup quarter-final)
March 17 – Europa League, last 16, second leg
March 20, Man City v Man Utd – Premier League
March 26, Germany v England – International Friendly
March 29, England v Holland – International Friendly
April 2, Man Utd v Everton – Premier League